Coastal & Marine Geology InfoBank

Home FACS Activities Atlas Geology School Related Sites More

USGS CMG InfoBank: Studying the Bones

Skip navigational links
Dictionaries: Our Mapping Systems   The USGS and Science Education   USGS Fact Sheets   Topics   Keywords   Data Dictionary   Metadata Dictionary   Computer Terminology   Digital Formats  
InfoBank Terms: Activity ID   activity overview   crew   digital data   formal metadata   lines   metadata   NGDC   port stops   project/theme   region   ship   stations   time   virtual globe   year  
Data Types: bathymetry   biological   geochemical   gravity   ground penetrating radar   imaging   LIDAR   logs   magnetics   metering equipment   navigation   samples   seismic   total station   definitions disclaimer  
Data Formats: ARC coverage   E00   FGDC metadata   gridded/image   imaging   material   scattered/swath   Shapefile   vector/polygon  
Comment: 18:36 - 20:01 (01:25)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 11. Evolution Through Time
Keywords: "Eric Scott", "Rancho La Brea", fossil, plant, pollen, mammoth, bison, "saber toothed cat", tar

Our transcription: The La Brea tar pits have yielded fossils ranging from microscopic plants and pollen spores, to giant mammoths and bison.
For me, the most fun is not so much finding the fossil, it's identifying it.
Suddenly this isn't just a lump of bone; suddenly this is a saber toothed cat skull, this is a bison femur, something like that.
And there's a thrill that goes through you when suddenly you realize this isn't just a fossil, this is a particular kind of animal that died here.
And that's very exciting for me.
As the site is excavated, the positions of every fossil are carefully measured and cataloged.
At the end of the excavation we want to be able to reconstruct exactly how these bones came to be deposited -- what happened to this animal between the time the animal died in the asphalt and the time that we dig it up here?
So what we hope to be able to do when we take measurements on each bone is to reconstruct how this bone has moved through time in the deposit and put it back with the rest of the animal, so that we can determine what happens to these individuals as they decompose and as the pit is deposited through time.

Geology School Keywords
Skip footer navigational links

Coastal and Marine Science Centers:  Pacific   St. Petersburg   Woods Hole  
InfoBank   Coastal and Marine Geology Program   Geologic Information   Ask-A-Geologist   USGS Disclaimer  

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: InfoBank staff
Page Last Modified: Thu Oct 31 04:26:21 PDT 2013  (chd)